I always forget how stressful reading V E Schwab’s books can be. The tension she manages to ratchet up in such a short amount of time. GOSH.
Anyway, Vicious is a super-hero story gone wrong. Two friends, Victor and Eli, discover how to basically give themselves super powers (or extra ordinary abilities in the book). However, then things change. Eli basically thinks that all those with powers are wrong and need to be killed. He almost starts with Victor – who ends up going to prison for 10 years before hunting Eli down. Along with way, we meet Mitch (Victor’s cellmate), Sydney (another EO) and Serena (Sydney’s sister and another EO).
It flips back and forth between times. At first, between the ‘now’ in the book and 10 years previously with Victor and Eli in college. Then it flips between the ‘now’ and Serena meeting Eli and their weird relationship. In that way, you have two tense arcs meeting together and crashing apart – but it’s so stressful as the tension starts to build! It took me forever to get through the first one because I didn’t want to know what happens. However, after that, I had to compulsively read it through and finish it in a couple days.
Anyway, it’s delightful and dark and strange. No one is a good guy in this story (okay, except maybe Sydney, she’s pretty innocent). Eli and Serena are super creepy and while Victor clearly has his issues, he’s still a nicer character. You want him to win, even though winning means basically torturing Eli. SO CONFLICTED.
I love the characters, they are all interesting and different. I like that Serena feels quite evil (never get enough evil ladies). I like the mixture of weird powers. I like that it exists in its own little universe. It was great. It was stressful. I highly recommend it.